Lavosh crackers

lavosh 3-1-2If like me, you’ve ever paid $4 for a little pack of lavosh before, you’re probably wondering what’s in them, which some time ago really got me thinking about making my own. The answer, as it turns out, is not much – flour, water and whatever else you want to chuck into the mix. For something that has a bit of a fancy name, lavosh or lavash is a Middle Eastern flatbread. In the Middle East lavash is served as a soft bread for wraps, but in Australia we tend to think of it more as a cracker to be eaten with cheese and dips.

Making your own lavosh takes a bit of time, but it’s dead set easy. Foolproof even. You can roll the dough out by hand (it’s a bit more work, but definitely worth it!), or use a pasta maker if you have one. It’s a great homemade staple that has endless possibilities for tweaking to taste – make it with wholewheat or plain flour, add in a sprinkle of rosemary and sea salt – it’s all delicious.

Looking back, I’m kicking myself for not whipping this up on a MasterChef mystery box challenge.

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Apple Crumble Cake

apple crumble cake-2What do you make when you’re having people over for coffee? You know, a bite to eat, but not too filling and not too sweet. Something not overly fussy, preferably that you can throw together in 15 minutes with stuff you have at hand. Without icing, obviously, because it takes time to ice a cake.

This apple crumble cake has been a staple of mine ever since I first made it, over six years ago. It was the last week of university and I don’t remember if everyone brought cake or not, but I remember this cake. A classmate had brought it in and I remember smell of apples wafting through the classroom. I remember thinking that I don’t normally like cake, but this is a really good cake. I remember pestering this classmate who I’d barely spoken to all semester for the recipe. And let me tell you, it’s not often that I go chasing cake recipes….

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Yellow Curry of Roast Pumpkin with Grilled Tofu and Cherry Tomatoes

yellow curry

There’s a lot to love about Benjamin Cooper – his crazy mohawk, the Melbourne (and soon to be Sydney) food institution that is Chin Chin and the beautiful cookbook of very accurate recipes that taste just like the restaurant. He has a lot to be proud of, that’s for sure, but the man himself is a humble, softly-spoken family man, generous with his knowledge and keen to share his passion for food. I remember sitting with him in the MasterChef waiting room, and I jokingly asked, “You run one of the most successful restaurants in town, it’s impossible to get a seating, everyone already knows and respects you, why can’t you just let me win this one?”

He said simply, “But I’m doing this for my kids.” And then he laughed. A burst of big, hearty laughter from the belly that just made me laugh along with him. Benjamin didn’t need to be here – he wasn’t after fame, or publicity for the many restaurants that he is now executive chef of. It seems silly but in that moment I understood how ridiculous what it was that I was doing. Cooking against a professional chef, someone who has cooked for upwards of 60 hours a week, for the past fifteen years. Not just any professional but one of the country’s best – and for an immunity pin.  Of course I wanted immunity, but in that moment, I understood that a pin is just a pin and MasterChef is TV. Family trumps all that. At the end of the day, we all kind of want the same thing – for our family to be proud of us. …

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